Thursday, March 31, 2011

Small Steps....

I can't believe I forgot to post this!  What kind of mother am I??  Jett started walking about a month ago and, while it seems like it took forever, he literally just got up one morning and took off.  I'm sure he was sitting back, plotting this one for a while, "if these idiots only knew..."

So, without further adieu, here's a snippet of my little man when he first started walking.

I'm not sure why the entire thing is blurry, I think it was because the lights were dim, but you can still see it.  Of course now, he's off and practically running.  Little things like waving while standing don't phase him anymore; though he still randomly takes pot-shots at the dogs during a walk-by if the opportunity presents itself.

It's amazing how fast kids grow, and so sad at the same time.  Things I took for granted with Hailey and Haiden, I've now learned to savor.  I'm certain these little videos of cuteness will soon be replaced with ones of the kids beating each other up.  Ah, the predictability of life.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Haiden is 10....

First, let me start off by saying, it's quite depressing to have two kids in the double digits.  My Haiden is 10!!!

I really can't believe he's 10 years old.  To celebrate this glorious occasion, we spent his birthday at his favorite hangout, Mr. Biggs.  His good friend Ryan also turned 10, just three days before him, so his mom and I decided to have a combined party.  That was craziness times two!

If you know me well, you may know I'm a slight control freak.  Just slight.  Being a control freak means you like to have things happen in an orderly fashion and on your terms.  While I seem to have little control of that in the housekeeping department, I'm able to flex my CEO-muscle for small events, such as Kindergarten birthday parties.  This little afternoon soiree did not fall into that plan.  These were big boys with big plans for their day.

When we got there, Ryan and his three friends from school were so excited to see Haiden and his friend Dylan.  The first words out of their mouths were, "Can we go play!!!"  I said, "Not yet!  Go sit down!"  Yes.  The exclamation points refer to yelling.  Not only is it loud in there but they were already wound tighter than Shirley Temple's hair pins.  I could feel the control freak losing control.

After getting to the table and setting everything down, all the boys took off running!  Ryan's mother, laughed and shrugged her shoulders and said, "I just figured, let them go play."  I thought it was a little crazy.  "If you turn these wild boys loose, we'll never get them back to eat cake and open presents!"  We only had a 3 hour window to use.  (Too painfully long if you ask me.)  Plus, there's just a certain order you follow when throwing a birthday party.  Because it says so.  In the book.  Anyway, we were able to quickly reel them back in.

The cake came out, we sang, the boys blew out candles, and we served it up.  While all the kids were eating, I went up to the concession counter to get a few pitchers of soda.  I figured I may as well wind them all up.  A good percentage of them didn't belong to me so I wasn't worried about dealing with them later.

Now, in my handbook of life, when having a birthday party, after you eat cake, you open presents.  That's just what you do.  We left many of the "family" gifts home so it wouldn't take so long.  I don't imagine 10 year old boys care about knitted socks from Great Aunt Edna.  (Fortunately that was just an example.  Not real.  The person or the gift.)  While I was in line, the pack of wild animals ran up to me and said, "Can we go play!!???"

Great.  Yeah.  That's how you do it.  I got out of line and walked briskly to my husband, whom I love dearly for putting up with all of my little idiosyncrasies, to fuss about things not going in the right order.  The only consolation was that I didn't waste money on drinks for all these little savages.  Hahaha!

Here's some pictures I was able to capture during the chaos.

Each one blowing out their 10 candles.

The only calm moment.  And I was able to capture it on film.

Waiting for the go-carts.

Jett dressed up like a fire-fighter.

In the mirror room.
He's reaching out to touch the cutest baby he's ever seen in his life.
He's gotta know if that handsome little hunk is real.

My handsome husband.  And so appeasing.
He's not a beast like the red eyes would suggest.
Unless he's tired.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith; 6 years (of together-ness) and counting.
I can't wait until there's a "0" at the end of that.
Wait, we might be dead.  60 + 30something's...ok.  You get what I'm sayin'.

Black-light golfing.  Look at his little pot-belly glow!

Difficult to see but, Dad and Ethan striking a pose while golfing.

At the end of the night, Haiden with all his loot.
Overall, it was a good day.  The point should be that he was happy, so it doesn't matter that it didn't turn out the way I wanted it to.

Update:  I have since learned to let go of my control-freakness.  The lasting memory will be of fun with friends, not what order the cake and presents were done in.  I get a little anxiety in places like this and it didn't help things feel less chaotic.  Needless to say, birthday parties are more low-key now.  Haha.  And we still love doing them with friends!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Moments of Mommy-ness....

As you all know, I'm not the best on keeping up with things.  Procrastination has always been my motto.  But, this morning I feel like I'd reached a new level of Mom-ness, and I needed to blog about it immediately before the moment passed from my memory, as many things do these days.

Long gone are the days of not knowing how to respond to my children's whines and tantrums.  Behind me are the awkward pauses of frustration at my children's antics of naughty-ness.  That's right!  Today, I'd like to share with you the story of how I used my cat-like reflexes to turn a potentially hazardous situation into one for the history books.

(Feel free to get a pen and jot this one down.  You'll want to use it.)

Mornings are always difficult for me.  Maybe because I use my talent of procrastination to wait until 11:47 to get Ethan, myself, and Jett ready to take Ethan to school at 12:15.  I don't know.  I haven't pin-pointed the problem just yet.

Anyway, today was only slightly different.  I was rushing to get us upstairs (at 11:20, thank you) to change out of pajamas (don't judge me) when Ethan kindly informed me, while watching cartoons from his throne on the couch, that he didn't want to go to school today.  Knowing this was his excuse to hang out and finish watching tv, I decided to roll with it to see where this went.

Me:  "ReallyYou don't want to go to school today?"
Ethan:  "Nope.  It's boring."  (yeah, right.  He loves school.)
Me:  "Gee, ok.  What do you want to do today then?"

Long pause from his little wheels turning.  I'm sure he was thinking, "she's actually buying this!!"

E:  "I wanna play the Wii!"
M:  "Well you can't because you're grounded."  He's only recently learned the true punishment of "grounding" and has discovered he does NOT like it.

E:  "I amHow about I play my DS!"
M:  "Nope.  You're grounded from that too."
E:  "I am?  (totally confused at this point.)  What if I watch tv?"
M:  "NahYou're grounded from the tv."

After a long sigh he said, "Am I grounded because I don't want to go to school?"

M:  "Yes sir, you guessed it!"

With that he replied, "If I go to school, can I be un-grounded?"

M:  "Yes you can.  Now get up here and get your clothes on!"

Ah, the quick thinking of a seasoned mother.  I was so proud of myself.  See, there's real talent and skill required for making misery in a child's life.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"Take My Daddy to Preschool" Day....

Ethan's class is learning about different jobs some of the kids parents have.  Back in January, Mrs. Johnson asked me if Clint would be able to come in to show them what a construction worker looks like in their gear and talk a little bit about his job.  He agreed, or at least I agreed for him.

The first week this was kicked off, the first parent to come in was a police officer for the city of Colorado Springs.  He was trying to talk to the kids about safety but they continued to ask questions about "getting the bad guys", "taking people to jail", and my personal favorite, "the pepper spray"!  Because of this "job fair" Ethan now wants to be a "cop", as he calls them.  When I asked why, he got a naughty little grin and said, "because then I can carry pepper spray!"

The next week was Clint's turn and to prepare for his big day he was thinking on a larger scale.  Much too large, really.  This is a guy who's used to making suggestions and discussing plans with Superintendents and other big titled people.  He didn't know what he was supposed to say to a group of wide-eyed 3 and 4 year olds.  As I explained to him, if he could capture their attention for 2, maybe even 3 minutes, it was a win-win situation.

When we got there, they were sitting in a circle, like hyena's ready to attack.  At least I'm pretty sure that's what Clint thought.  Things were going well until he got nervous and a couple of tools fell out of his bags.  Then, he started throwing out big words like, "my speed-square", "re-bar", and "setting forms"!!  (NO, NO!  You're losing them!!!)  At least he wasn't throwing out expletives, which I was a little worried might slip out.

I tried to reel them back in with simple questions like, "So, why do you wear that white hardhat?", and "How heavy are your tools?" and the teachers were a big help too.  I think at one point they were more excited than the kids to hear about him hanging off the sides of buildings, "like Spiderman" as one kid said.  That earned him some very cool points with the boys.

To wrap things up for them, he took off his bags and let the kids come around closer to check out his tools and see just how heavy his bags were.  The kids enjoyed it and you could tell by the look on Ethan's face he was so proud to have his dad in class.

Last week the police-officer-dad had a parting gift for all the kids: badge stickers they could wear on their shirts.  Seeing that Clint was wrapping up, yet had nothing that he was ready to "give out" one little girl raised her hand and quietly asked, "Did you bring us a building?"

The ravenous pack awaiting their prey.

Showing them how he puts his bags on to start working.

This is when things started falling out.

Talking about hanging off the building, "Like Spiderman".

Testing just how heavy it was.
They proceeded to dump nails all over the floor at this particular moment.

And here Mrs. Johnson suggested we take away the "weapon".
Some of the boys had decided that the screwdriver would make a nice sword.

Ethan giving a demonstration on how to work the wrench.

The big proud boy and his hard working daddy!
(I didn't realize he blinked.
Then again maybe he was using preschool logic: "If I close my eyes this will all go away.")
It was pretty cute to see this big strong man get a little weak in the knees talking in front of little kids.  The cuter part was seeing the excitement and wonder on their faces and not having a clue that he was nervous to do it.

Monday, March 14, 2011

And Then There Was None....

Sickness, that is.

First, let me begin by apologizing.  I'm sorry for keeping you all dangling for so long.  I believe it was 3 weeks ago now since "The Gombu" first entered our home.  When you have 11 children, like we do, you don't seem to all share colds and gunk at once, (Which now I'm grateful for.  I'll explain later.)  One child contracts something vile and then remembers that golden rule from Kindergarten about sharing and passes it on to the next one.

I believe God wanted me to remember that there's a reason things happen the way they do, and to always be grateful, no matter how the chips may fall.....

In all my alertness, at about 3 am one morning, I remember asking God,

"Why can't my kids just get all the gunk all at once so we can just be done for the year."

I'm fairly certain what I meant to say went more like this,

"What if one kid got a cold, it didn't last very long, and it was counted as everyone's cold and we didn't get sick for the rest of the year?"

They sound similar, right?  Not sure how it got twisted....Huh.  Anyway, what happened was 3 weeks of sickness for my poor little Jett dabbled with a vomit bug here, and a snotty nose there by a few of the others.

After an 8 hour stay at the ER, and many days of pajamas, Bubble Guppies, Pedialyte, and Motrin, we nailed down what was going on with them; cold bug, respiratory infection, double ear infection, eating too much of something too sweet, sinus infection, more cold bug; and now I think we're on the road to better health.  I'm not sure who had what at this point since the last few weeks are a blur and I call each kid by the wrong name most of the time anyway.  Although, I think I can narrow it down mostly to Ethan and Jett.  Hopefully the right one's were given antibiotics and the others, hand sanitizer and Lysol wipes.  With that being said, I'm crossing my fingers to a clean bill of health for the rest of 2011!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Please stand by....

I just realized that I haven't blogged in about 2 weeks!  Holy that's-too-long, Batman!!  Every time I made a concerted effort to start a new post, something in life came up forcing me to stop.  The last post date said "Monday" and that's where I stopped reading.  It only now occurred to me that it was 2 weeks ago, not 1.  Geez, I've gotta document life before it continues to fly by.  Wait, it will regardless.  At least this way we can remember it!

Upcoming post topics include:
-Take your dad to preschool day
-Haiden turns 10
-and possibly more generic life

I hope I haven't lost anyone.  I'm sorry to let you down.  I'll make it up to you.  Stay tuned!